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Stavros Niarchos Foundation distributes $31 million first round of grants to reach areas hardest hit by COVID-19

Responding to the severe and unprecedented challenges posed around the globe by COVID-19, a $100 million global initiative by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) aims to help address the impacts of the pandemic.

Grants made as part of the initiative focus on research, access to food and other necessities, mental health support for specially affected populations, emergency relief for artists, support for frontline staff, and more. They are going to existing grantee-partners, first-time grantee organizations, collaborative emergency funds, and directly to frontline hospital staff in Greece.

SNF grants totaling $5.93 million, made to both individual nonprofit organizations and collaborative funds, focus on ensuring access to food and other essentials, offering mental health support to populations specially affected, and providing emergency relief to artists.

Access to Food and Essentials
As unemployment rises precipitously in areas under stay-at-home orders, the longstanding financial insecurity faced by many is coming to a head in the form of food insecurity, even as pandemic-related closures at certain service providers dramatically increase the demands on others. Grants, totaling $1.63 million, include:

Broad Street Ministry Philadelphia Providing food and hygiene products to unsheltered populations, as one of few relevant providers remaining open in the city
City Harvest New York City Rescuing and distributing millions of pounds of food
Citymeals on Wheels New York City Delivering nutritious meals to tens of thousands of older New Yorkers and checking on their welfare
Coalition for the Homeless New York City Providing around a thousand meals daily, prepaid cards for personal hygiene supplies, and masks to residents of homeless shelters
God’s Love We Deliver Philadelphia Delivering nearly 10,000 medically tailored meals a day to New Yorkers with serious illnesses
Kingsbridge Heights Community Center New York City Offering a food pantry and gift cards for essentials like diapers
Safe Horizon New York City Providing shelter, food, clothing, and hygiene facilities to young people experiencing homelessness
Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center New York City Delivering and offering food for elderly and low-income residents of the Upper East Side and East Harlem

SNF believes we achieve more when we collaborate, and has also made a $2 million grant to the poverty-fighting organization Robin Hood, which pools resources to assist the low-income New York families and individuals who are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The Robin Hood Relief Fund provides assistance related to food, housing, children, immigration, income security, and health.

Mental Health Support
The deleterious effects of the pandemic on mental health are widespread and will be an ongoing focus of SNF’s relief initiative. In this first round, SNF grants totaling $1.5 million will go toward immediate psychological support for frontline workers, seniors, children, and other vulnerable populations:

American Cancer Society United States Providing accommodation to healthcare staff resting and self-isolating with nearly a thousand rooms across the country
Center to Advance Palliative Care United States Helping address the strain faced by healthcare providers through free online COVID-19 resources that offer guidance on managing symptoms and improving communication with critically ill patients and their families
Fund for Public Health in NYC New York City Checking in with elderly and homebound New Yorkers, as well as offering other essential health programs
New Alternatives for Children New York City Providing mental health support, medical care and other essentials to thousands of children with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and mental health diagnoses, as well as their families
Service Program for Older People Philadelphia Providing mental health services to thousands of older New Yorkers remotely

Emergency Relief for Artists
With performance venues and cultural institutions abruptly shuttered, artists and arts organizations face sudden precarity at a time when they are called to be agents of community wellbeing. SNF support totaling $800,000 for three collaborative funds will help get emergency relief to individual artists and small to medium-sized arts organizations:


Dance/NYC New York City Supporting hundreds of individual dancers and dance organizations in NYC with emergency funding through the organization’s COVID-19 Dance Relief Fund
Swiss Institute New York City Sustaining 15 NYC organizations that support artists, including the Swiss Institute, through a collaborative fund which it helps steward
United States Artists United States Disbursing emergency $5,000 grants for essential needs to individual artists around the U.S. through the Artist Relief fund the organization helps steward

Working in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies, SNF will make a $3 million grant to Vital Strategies’ Resolve to Save Lives initiative. This will enable rapid-response grants to governments across Africa to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including understanding the impact of social distancing on hunger and communication and dissemination of accurate health information. The grant will also provide support directly to frontline workers throughout Africa, including vital infection control training.

To further its immediate efforts to help the vulnerable around the globe, SNF has made a flexible $3 million grant to aid UNICEF’s global COVID-19 response initiatives in the key areas of educational access, psychological services, and supporting those on the front lines with protective equipment and basic emergency supplies. UNICEF’s unparalleled network, including the organization’s Supply Division that operates the world’s largest emergency supply warehouse, makes it uniquely suited to getting vital goods out quickly where they are needed most.|

SNF grants totaling more than $13 million focus on helping deliver food, basic necessities, psychological resources, and direct support to people in France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.


Access to Food and Mental Health Support

Grants totaling over $1.35 million include:

Associazione CasAmica Italy Providing psychological support to the community and supporting emergency relief at its care home in Lecco
CRESCER Portugal Delivering hundreds of meals from a social enterprise restaurant to people on the streets
Barça Foundation Spain/ Catalonia Offering food and psychosocial support through Red Cross Catalonia, particularly for the elderly and those experiencing homelessness, and through the Government of Catalonia’s food program for vulnerable children
EMERGENCY Italy Running permanent and mobile care clinics in nine regions of Italy, enabling them to continue supporting over 8,000 patients facing Covid-19 who would lack access to information and essential care
Enfance et Partage France Aiming to prevent child abuse through psychological support
The French Red Cross France Distributing emergency food aid and referrals for psychological support through tens of thousands of staff and volunteers
Grandes Amigos Spain Offering remote emotional support to nearly a thousand seniors through the efforts of as many volunteers
The Italian Red Cross Italy Distributing food and hygiene kits to struggling families and offering a 24/7 psychological support phone line that receives thousands of calls each day
Fondazione Progetto Arca Italy Providing food, shelter, and essentials to people experiencing homelessness, the elderly, and families in need
The Spanish Red Cross Spain Distributing food and essentials at the country level


Greece has a special place in SNF’s heart and work, being our birthplace. Particularly cognizant of the fact that Greece has been in the process of overcoming a deep ten-year socioeconomic crisis, SNF has given special care to addressing immediate needs and risks specific to the nation in collaboration with the public sector. SNF grants totaling nearly $11.9 million seek to help address these needs.

Access to Food

Central Union of Greek Municipalities (KEDE) Greece Providing food supplies through Social Food Outlets in municipalities around Greece for the immediate support of people suffering from the socioeconomic effects of the pandemic. The grant will be implemented with the collaboration and supervision of Deloitte to ensure fast, effective, and transparent distribution of the supplies
Boroume Greece Implementing a transparent voucher system in coordination with Greek municipalities to provide impacted families with food in the middle term of the crisis, implemented from September to December 2020.

Mental Health Support

• A comprehensive effort with the Greek Ministry of Health to provide psychological support in response to needs engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic

Direct Support for Frontline Greek Hospital Staff
Under the current circumstances, the Foundation is taking the extraordinary step of providing $8.1 million in support directly to the most critical element of the country’s health system: individual hospital staff. An SNF gesture of appreciation to be shared equally among nearly 5,000 frontline nurses, doctors, and cleaning personnel working in ICUs at COVID-19 clinics will acknowledge the altruistic efforts of these heroes on the front line of efforts against the pandemic in Greece who risk their lives to save others.
Bolstering health infrastructure in Greece through collaboration with the public sector is a longtime and continuing focus for SNF, which is already in the middle of a more than $400 million Health Initiative in the country. As part of this effort, renovation of the second ICU and the ER at Evangelsimos Hospital in Athens is underway through a partnership between SNF and Thanasis and Marina Martinos.

Our ability to track the spread of the disease will be critical to how the coming months take shape. SNF is proud to support Johns Hopkins University with a $3 million grant in the immediate launch of a much-needed COVID-19 Testing Insights Initiative to provide governments, businesses, and the public with comprehensive testing data paired with expert analysis and guidance. The initiative is the outcome of longtime collaboration between SNF and many areas of Johns Hopkins University, including the Berman Institute of Bioethics, and will provide efficient access to the information needed to make crucial decisions moving forward.

A $3 million SNF grant to The Rockefeller University, expanding on a longstanding partnership, bolsters round-the-clock research related to COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it underway in 18 Rockefeller labs.

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